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Technical Apprenticeship Program Launching Careers at the Savannah River Site

A new partnership at the Savannah River Site (SRS) is opening doors for individuals seeking technical education for careers with liquid waste contractor Savannah River Remediation (SRR). 

Savannah River Remediation employee Josh Osteen operates remote equipmentSRR’s training department is partnering with Aiken Technical College (ATC) and Apprenticeship Carolina to fill some of its over 40 operator positions in the next year. The Operator Apprenticeship Program will employ individuals for paid training at SRS who are enrolled in ATC’s Nuclear Fundamentals Certificate program. In addition, SRR is collaborating with ATC to train all new operator hires through ATC’s nuclear fundamentals courses who are not in the apprenticeship program. Using external education resources like ATC for training gives opportunities for SRR to redirect its resources toward other parts of its mission. 

Candidates are now applying through SRR for the positions and in parallel are registering at ATC, which is required by December 17, 2021. The program will begin in January 2022. 

To perform operator-related work toward SRR’s mission, apprentices will learn chemistry, physics, engineering, and radiation fundamentals while participating in SRS regulatory courses, facility training, and other requirements. Between the certificate program and apprenticeship, student-employees will complete requirements for consideration as full-service employees within seven months. 

SRR President and Project Manager Phil Breidenbach said the success of the new apprenticeship program launch is a testament to continuous improvement, an SRR core value. 

“SRR’s training department shoulders a broad mission, which now includes recruiting individuals who would be a good fit at SRR,” Breidenbach said. “We want employees who are motivated to perform safe and meaningful work for EM’s liquid waste mission at SRS. Creating this opportunity will yield those workers.” 

ATC President Dr. Forest Mahan said such partnerships help area residents gain employable skills and better prepare for careers in technical fields.

Savannah River Remediation employee Josh Osteen operates remote equipment for canister operations at the Defense Waste Processing Facility. 

“This partnership provides area residents with a unique opportunity to develop knowledge and skills that will help them be successful in their future careers,” Mahan said. “They will learn about the theory behind industry practices while working with experts in the field to implement their knowledge in real-time. The experience they will gain will be invaluable.” 

SRR operators are needed at the Defense Waste Processing Facility, Saltstone Production Facility, H and F Tank Farms, and the Effluent Treatment Facility. Dependent on the facility, operators will ensure facility equipment is safely functioning, conduct material transfers, and perform data analysis, among other tasks. 

All interested candidates can apply for the apprenticeship program through SRR’s website here: http://www.srremediation.com/index.html. For more information about the Nuclear Fundamentals program, visit https://www.atc.edu/Study/Programs-of-Study/Technical-and-Continuing-Education/Nuclear-Fundamentals

SRR is a team of companies led by Amentum with partners Bechtel National, Jacobs, and BWX Technologies, Inc. Critical subcontractors for the contract are Orano, Atkins, and Amentum N&E Technical Services.